Bald Eagles in Itasca


Once upon a time, I was outdoorsy. I even went to the Boundary Waters and navigated by compass and portaged and camped without any contact with civilization. I also fell into an icy cold lake when I went to pump water because I like to learn things the hard way and was certain that most people shouldn't stand up in canoes but that I was special and had special standing up in canoe powers. Even soaking wet and freezing, I laughed because I was rugged and all the other hardcore outdoors words.

But then I had kids. I could say that having kids made me soft and indoorsy but I don't think that's true. Sure, I am more tired now and have developed a love for activities that have a low hassle factor but, really, I think I've just realized that I like certain comforts.

I like sleeping in a bed.

I like running water.

I like being clean.

I like walls between me and nature.

And, yes, I like WiFi.

When we took Zeca camping at Itasca State Park last summer, I remembered how much I'd grown to love the comforts of home. Call me spoiled, but I don't like to have to wipe my feet off before climbing into my sleeping quarters.

But there were good things about the trip too and it was easy for me to forget those or to tuck them away because they didn't fit with the  "Vikki the Princess Goes Camping" narrative I had going at the time.

When I was reading about the crows the other day, I learned that sometimes crows will surround an eagle and bring it down.

And then I remembered the eagles we saw at Itasca.

We were canoeing and turned to see a bald eagle swooping down towards the water, not to far from us and parallel to our canoe. Before Luisa could grab the camera, it had ascended and then we watched as it flew into a tree at the point of an island up ahead of us.

We canoed closer and watched as it took flight and joined another adult in the sky. Then, we saw movement in the tree and that's when we noticed a juvenile bald eagle on the shoreline. We stayed and watched for some time and then, another joined it from the tree. We sat quietly in the canoe - Luisa, Zeca and me - and watched the birds as they stretched their wings and stared out over the water. Eventually, we left them in peace after snapping a few pictures.

Four bald eagles. A rare sight. A beautiful moment.

bald eagles